In 1972, the Royal Dragoon Guards Bands (Pipe and Brass) performed at the Lavington Sports Club Oval. After the performance, and over a couple of drinks, the then Secretary Manager of the Club felt it a good idea that the Lavington Club form a pipe band of it’s own.
One member of that Group was Mr John Birnie who was an office bearer with the defunct Albury Caledonian Pipe Band. He volunteered to start the formation of the Club pipe band. Another member of the group was Mr John Reid who, in around 1950, was sponsored by the Wangaratta Caledonian Society to come from Glasgow (Scotland) to form a pipe band in Wangaratta.
Mr Reid accepted the appointment of Pipe Major of the new Lavington Sports Club Pipe Band. PM Reid contacted Mr David McCormack (Melb), in 1973, convincing him and his family to move to Albury to become the Drum Corps tutor. David and Son David Jnr, were members of the Hawthorn City Pipe Band, whilst Wife Phyl (Piper & Drum Major), with Daughters Kerry & Tracy, were members of the Melbourne Ladies Pipe Band.
The Sports Club selected ‘Stuart Black’ Tartan for the Band and purchased a complete set of second hand drums from the Golden City Pipe Band, Bendigo. The first ever band turnout was at Jindera.
About 5-6 years later, Kent Hilton returned to Albury from Canberra and joined the band. Around 1980 (a couple of years after Kent’s return), the Lavington Sports Club demanded the pipe band reorganise its Executive structure and offer up all positions for election. The result was that Kent Hilton became the new Pipe Major, and a somewhat displeased John Reid resigned.
Some of the original members were Police Inspector George Bruce (Wodonga, and ex Vic Police Pipe Band), Mr Bob Sharp, Ms Michelle Mann, Mr Malcolm Mann, Ms Debbie Bradbury, Mr & Mrs Graeme Stephenson, Mr Andy Lowe, Mr Terry Lowe, Jacky Ewen and Brian Dwyer.
Some years later, David McCormack and his family joined the Wangaratta Pipe Band. The Lavington Sports Club Band then became the Albury City Pipe Band, taking with them uniforms and instruments.
In 1985, the Albury City Pipe Band changed it’s name to ‘Albury Wodonga Pipes & Drums’ as we are known today.
Note: Our appreciation is extended to Mr David McCormack for providing this important historical detail.